Clamping at car park catches out young mum
by STACEY HEANEY
Lisburn Mayor Ronnie Crawford at the
private car park near the Lisburn Library.
LISBURN Mayor, Councillor Ronnie Crawford, has
appealed for "clear and unambiguous" signs to be erected at the
car park near Lisburn Library after a young mum had her car
clamped there last week, believing it was a public car park.
Sarah Adams, who lives in Lambeg but is
originally from Ballymena, paid a visit to the library last
Thursday (August 21) with her two sons, Bailey (5) and Joshua
(2) to look for books and on returning to her car found she had
Sarah, who had to pay a £75 fine to free her
car, said that she thought the car park was a public facility
because of its connection with the library.
She explained, "I'm from Ballymena and there the
library car park is free because the library is providing a
public service. The sign just says ISTM at the top, if it had
said 'No Parking' I would never have parked there, I think this
is absolutely disgusting."
Sarah, who intends to lodge an appeal,
continued: "I earn £112 per week and have two young boys and now
I have to pay £75 for a fine, that's most of my wages gone for a
Mr Crawford said it was only the latest in
series of complaints he had received about the car park.
"Due to the lack of I would see as clear and
unambiguous signage, many people are being forced to hand over
£75 to a clamping firm from Belfast" he said.
"Before the Library was built this parking
facility was part of a public car park. Now two disabled spaces
are reserved for patrons of the Library with the rest of the
spaces reserved for permit holders, the number of whom has not
yet been established. No spaces are provided for able bodied car
owners using the Library."
He continued: "The fact this is a private car
park needs to be clearly and unambiguously stated so that
motorists are in no doubt that this is not a public car park.
The current signs are totally inadequate, but obviously if
everyone was aware of the threat of clamping, no one would use
the car park.
"The £75 fine for clamp release, the £210 fee
for impounding the vehicle and the £20 per day store-age charge
are published in print which is far too small for most people to
see. This entire operation has ensnared people using the public
library service and who are, very often, least able to afford
these swingeing penalties."
James Moffat, the owner of ISTM, said: "We
are members of the British Parking Association (BPA) and we work
to their rules. We are also working towards our SIA Licence
which is the next stage for us.
"We take three photographs of cars parked
illegally; one of the windscreen, one of the sign in the
background and one of the clamp on the car. Nobody likes being
clamped but we are very open and transparent in everything we do
the best we can legally with regards to our clients."